Home Articles Heard Around Atlanta July/August 2017

Heard Around Atlanta July/August 2017


Fan Favorite Returns for2017 BB&T Atlanta Open

John Isner will return to the 2017 BB&T Atlanta Open on July 22-30 at Atlantic Station. Isner, a fan favorite, is the winningest player in the history of the Atlanta Open.

The former University of Georgia tennis star says it’s always a thrill to play in Georgia and to compete at the BB&T Atlanta Open. “I feel at home in Atlanta and at Atlantic Station with family, friends and loyal Bulldog fans,” he said.

Since 2012, when the BB&T Atlanta Open officially moved to Atlantic Station, Isner has posted three singles victories from 2013 to 2015. Isner is currently ranked No. 24 in the ATP world rankings and No. 2 in the U.S. Eddie Gonzalez, BB&T Atlanta Open tournament director, is excited about Isner’s return to the tournament.

“For a decade, John has set an example and the standard for the next generation of American tennis players, and now they are across the net from him as opponents,” Gonzalez said. “John’s career has been amazing, and he is still playing great tennis and will be one of the favorites at Atlantic Station in July.”

The BB&T Atlanta Open will kick off the 2017 US Open Series and is expected to have top ATP World Tour stars, including defending champion Nick Kyrgios and current U.S. No.1 player Jack Sock.

In addition, Grand Slam champion Venus Williams and Canada’s top-ranked player Genie Bouchard will take part of a special women’s exhibition evening session July 23. Tickets are available for purchase at bbtatlantaopen.com.

USTA’s ‘Friend at Court’ Now on the ALTA Website

We’ve all done it. We’ve left the court and wondered all the way home, “Did we make the right decision?” As recreational tennis players without line judges to guide us, we often choose the wrong way to handle an uncommon situation on the court.

Well, don’t spend a sleepless night worrying about it. Just visit altatennis.org. We’ve always had ALTA’s rules posted under League Documents. Now we’ve added USTA’s “Friend at Court.” ALTA is affiliated with the United States Tennis Association through membership in the Southern Tennis Association and abides by the USTA rules of tennis and code of play.

“Friend at Court” includes the ITF Rules of Tennis, plus The Code and USTA’s Regulations. If your question isn’t addressed in ALTA’s rules, you’ll be sure to find it in “Friend at Court.” Or you can always submit it to Good Question (p. 56 in this issue) — because there’s no question that ALTA’s elected officials know their stuff.

Georgia Tech’s Eubanks Earns Arthur Ashe Award

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced Georgia Tech men’s tennis junior Christopher Eubanks as the recipient of the 2017 Division I National ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award. In addition, Eubanks received the honor for the Southeast region.

Head coach Kenny Thorne had high-praise for Eubanks. “To receive a sportsmanship and leadership award in honor of his hero Arthur Ashe is something special. He is well-deserving and I know he will cherish this one. I know his parents are very proud and so is the entire Georgia Tech community,” Thorne said.

The award is given to a tennis player for his accomplishments on the court, scholastic achievements and extracurricular endeavors. Sportsmanship, leadership and character are also considered when selecting a recipient.

Eubanks has been ranked in the Top 10 among singles players since April 2016, including a No. 4 rank. He will be the No. 7 seed at the NCAA singles championship.

Eubanks received the USTA/ITA sportsmanship award and won back-to-back ACC Player of the Year honors. In addition, Eubanks played both doubles and singles at the 2015 BB&T Atlanta Open. He currently has a 28-5 overall record and a 18-2 ledger in dual match play.

Shots Fired Between the US and Cuba… on the Tennis Courts of Havana!

Elite Tennis Travel, a New York-based tennis and cultural immersion travel company, scored points in Havana in March with its historic tennis exchange between 13 American tennis enthusiasts and the Cuban National Tennis Federation.

The four-day program featured professional-amateur play, where each American player was partnered with a Cuban coach or player from either the Cuban men’s or women’s national tennis team. The American players experienced first-hand the playing and coaching techniques of the Cubans, who have excelled at tennis despite limited resources. But the true highlight of the program was the bountiful donation of tennis equipment, apparel, shoes and balls that the travelers painstakingly collected from multiple clubs across the U.S. and hand-delivered to the Cubans at an intimate courtside ceremony.

“Tennis is a way to build bridges and find common ground with others,” said Adriana Isaza, founder of Elite Tennis Travel. “There was so much goodwill and mutual admiration among the players in Havana. It was incredibly rewarding to see the program come to life.” Atlanta traveler Jocel Thornhill is a board member of Atlanta Youth Tennis & Education Foundation, a National Junior Tennis & Learning chapter supported by the United States Tennis Association Foundation. “I traveled to Cuba in 2016 and I could not wait to return,” she said. “When I learned about the ETT Cuba tour, I knew I could not pass it up. It was a perfect opportunity to merge my new affinity for Cuba with my love of the game.”

Elite Tennis Travel is committed to growing its tennis and cultural immersion program in Cuba and has recently joined RESPECT, the organization for Responsible and Ethical Cuban Travel. For more information, visit elitetennistravel.com.

Spring Wheelchair Tournament Draws Record Participation

The American Wheelchair Tennis Championships drew 82 participants to this year’s tournament, making it the largest USTA wheelchair tournament in the nation. It was the largest group of players ever to play in the tournament, held April 20-23 in McDonough.

ALTA member Harlon Matthews is the director of the event, previously known as the Geranium Wheelchair Tournament and held in conjunction with Henry County Parks and Recreation. The ALTA Foundation has been a sponsor of the event since 2009. The field of players from across the United States included 10 disabled vets, four novices, 19 women and 11 quadriplegics.

The Sets for Vets division, sponsored by Waste Management, ended with the Ola High School ROTC Color Guard presenting the flags. Each disabled vet received a commemorative challenge coin, and Harold Young of McDonough received the John Purser Military Service Award. The Waste Management sponsorship also funded lodging.

A grant from the Taylor Family Foundation paid for tournament fees and lodging for 16 women players. A grant from the Burns Family Foundation paid for tournament fees and lodging for the quadriplegic players. The novice division was made possible through a grant from USTA Southern Section Wheelchair Tennis Committee, which paid tournament fees and lodging for four players.

Recycle with Wilson

Each year, 325 million tennis balls are produced, and the vast majority end up in landfills. Wilson is partnering with Retour Tennis to pioneer the tennis ball recycling effort in the United States with the new “AD-IN Bin.” To get the recycling effort started at your facility, visit retourtennis.com to request a bin be installed. Once the AD-IN Bin is filled with used tennis balls, empty them into Wilson-provided shipping boxes, print a free shipping label from tennisballrecycling.com, and ship the used balls out. All recycled balls will be used to resurface tennis courts.

Brad Gilbert Breakfast & Har-Tru Seminar

Brad Gilbert, world-class tennis player, coach and leading analyst for ESPN2, will be making a special appearance at Dunwoody Country Club on Friday, July 28. He will be speaking on “Tennis’ Rising Stars” and what types of training and experiences they will need to reach the top in this era of dominance by ageless veterans. Gilbert will share personal stories, coaching insights and take questions from the audience. Presented by Har-Tru, the event will be from 9-11 a.m. and is open to GPTA members and their guests. A Q&A session with Gilbert will follow. Visit gpta.com to RSVP for this event. Nonmembers can also join or renew their membership via the GPTA website.

Gilbert’s event will be followed by a Har-Tru seminar from 1-3 p.m. at the same location. Presented by Signature Tennis Courts, the seminar will cover everything you need to know about Har-Tru courts and the latest products and techniques from Signature Tennis and Har-Tru. To register for this seminar, email Mike Imbornone at mikeimbornone@comcast.net.

Hamilton Mill Round Robin Raises Money for Breast Cancer Fight

Hamilton Mill for Hope Tennis Tournament raised more than $16,000 during its second annual event to support breast cancer care and prevention for the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation. The long-running event was previously known as Volleyfest.

The event kicked off May 8 with the 12th annual Buffalo’s Café Pink Party featuring food and raffles. The tennis tournament on May 9 at Lakeview Tennis Center featured round-robin tennis and shopping at booths set up by local businesses. More than 40 players were joined by volunteers and spectators for the action-packed day.

The closing luncheon at the Hamilton Mill Lakeview Clubhouse featured friend and neighbor Trish Lowrie sharing an inspirational story of her diagnosis, treatment and ongoing battle with breast cancer.

Committee members Valerie Visintainer, Kristi Hanes and Allison Heusel credit the event’s success to many, including Hamilton Mill Tennis Director Jeff Dudacek, sponsors such as Buffalo’s Café, participating vendors, private donors, coaches and volunteers.

Now Hiring: Tennis Warehouse Alpharetta

This fall, Tennis Warehouse is opening a new location in Alpharetta and is looking for additional staff to add to the team.

The new location will house both Tennis Warehouse and Running Warehouse, and like its original location in San Luis Obispo, California, employees will enjoy a fun and energetic environment with plenty of growth opportunities. Applicants need not have a background in tennis or running to apply, as onsite education is provided.

Tennis Warehouse seeks to immediately fill customer service and warehouse positions. However, specialty positions may open up for those with previous tennis or running industry experience, or those with product image editing skills. For more information and to apply, visit tennis-warehouse.com/careers/atlanta.html.

Keowee Key Named Best US Tennis Community

Keowee Key in Salem, South Carolina, has been selected by Ideal Living Magazine as 2017’s “Best of the Best” Tennis and Pickleball Community.

Less than a two-hour drive from Atlanta, the community offers premier tennis facilities and programs for its members and guests to enjoy throughout the year. The tennis facility is made up of eight Har-Tru clay courts, four omni courts and two hard plexipave courts — all lighted for evening play. There is also a separate pickleball facility with four lighted courts, and the Southern community’s temperate climate allows for year-round play. The facility also has three tennis pavilions and numerous bleachers for ample viewing and shade. Each set of two clay courts features a cabana.

Keowee Key’s tennis programming includes numerous social, instructional, competitive and recreational opportunities. Members can join and participate in USTA league play as well as regularly scheduled tennis tournaments, social events and mixers.

Residents agree Keowee Key is the ideal community for your next residence, second home or active retirement destination. Contact Keowee Key at 864.944.2312 for more information or request a discovery package at keowee-key.com.

Orkin Deal for ALTA Members

Orkin, the leader in pest control, is proud to be celebrating more than 90 years of service in Atlanta. As official pest control provider of the BB&T Atlanta Open, Orkin invites ALTA members to take advantage of an exclusive offer to receive $50 off your first pest control or mosquito control service by calling 877.282.7188. Find your local branch at atlanta.orkin.com.

Oxford Mill Honors the Memory of a Teammate

Oxford Mill Thursday Women B3 decided as a team 10 years ago to forgo the gift certificate traditionally bestowed upon the season’s captain and replace it with a donation to the captain’s favorite charity.

Over the last 20 seasons, the team has donated to numerous charities including The Alzheimer’s Association, Partners for Care and Angels Among Us Canine Rescue. One of the team’s favorite charities is Northside Hospital Foundation’s Cancer Institute, which helps fund critical care, medical research, screenings and state-of-the-art technology for the Southeast.

This spring’s charity gift was bittersweet for the team. Captain Pat Moravek asked for the usual donation to be made in memory of team member Carolyn Froats, who died last fall after a 12-year battle with breast cancer. The team chose to donate to Tennis Against Breast Cancer, which is a month-long fundraising event held annually by the Northside Hospital Foundation.

“Carolyn always exemplified great strength, dignity and kindness on and off the courts,” said teammate Diana Holden. “Her ever-present smile and sportsmanship will always be remembered.”

For more information about Tennis Against Breast Cancer, visit give.northside.com/events/tennis-against-breast-cancer.

HEAD Introduces MXG Racquet with New Technology

HEAD has introduced a new racquet that combines precision-injected magnesium and graphene to provide a balance of power and control for any player.

The MXG is the first racquet that has this type of technology, according to a press release. The racquet also provides stability at a very low weight that helps players at any level improve their game.

The innovative magnesium bridge of the racquet allows for longer free-moving main strings that give players a larger sweet spot and more power, which is always the goal. In addition, the bridge protects the upper hoop, so it doesn’t deform under pressure and gives players more control on their shot.

Ottmar Barbian, executive vice president for the racquets sports division, says that HEAD conducted extensive research to make the MXG the best product possible.

“We conducted extensive player research and identified the need for both power and control in a racquet. Based on these results, we developed MXG, an entirely new technology that merges two materials together for the ultimate balance of power and control,” Barbian said.

The MXG is available in two different models, MXG 5 and MXG 3, at select retailers.

New Elite10 Remote Control for Apple

Lobster Sports, the premier U.S. tennis ball machine manufacturer, is proud to announce the release of the new elite10 remote control for Apple.

The new remote control offers all the features of Lobster Sports’ standard elite10 remote, but allows customers to use an Apple Watch, iPhone, iPod or iPad to control the feed, speed, spin, elevation, sweep and vertical oscillation from anywhere on the court. Apple users will enjoy the benefit of not needing an additional remote control device to keep track of and Apple Watch users will be amazed at the convenience of controlling their tennis ball machine from their wrist.

“The Lobster elite remote control app brings cutting-edge technology at an affordable price,” said Tony Potter, president of Lobster Sports.

The elite10 remote control for Apple is a proprietary system consisting of a factory installed Wi-Fi receiver plus the free Lobster elite remote control that is available for download at the App Store.

For existing owners of any elite two or elite three ball machine seeking to upgrade to the new elite10 remote control for Apple, contact Lobster Sports at 800.526.4041 or email sales@lobstersports.com.

USPTA Headquarters Return to Florida After 25 Years

The United States Professional Tennis Association announced that its worldwide headquarters will be moving back to Florida at the end of May, after 25 years in Houston.

The new 10,000-square-foot building will have a technology-driven office space for approximately 20 members of the USPTA staff in an eco-friendly environment and feature a lab for learning and training. The USPTA national staff will be operating in a temporary office space until the completion of the new facility by the end of June.

The new headquarters will also have an in-house multimedia studio for TV production and has been designed to meet LEED quality standards. John Embree, USPTA CEO, is excited for the move.

“The relocation to Lake Nona is game changing for our association,” Embree said. “Today, we begin a brand new and incredibly exciting chapter in our rich 90-year history with the transition to our new home across the street from the home of American tennis (USTA headquarters).”

The USPTA national office has a new phone number, 407.634.3050, and the new address is 11961 Performance Drive, Orlando, FL 32827.

Har-Tru Announced As New USPTA Official Provider

Har-Tru, the leader in clay tennis courts, court equipment and accessories, has entered an agreement with the United States Professional Tennis Association to become the official provider of teaching carts, ball mowers and ball baskets of the association.

The agreement is for three years, and it will include special offers for USPTA members on a variety of qualified products found on the Har-Tru website. In addition, Retirement Gold+ program members can earn contributions for their retirement accounts when they make a qualified Har-Tru purchase.

Har-Tru was founded in 1931 and has grown to become the world’s premier manufacturer of tennis court surfaces, equipment, accessories and supplies. Pat Hanssen, president of Har-Tru, feels that the relationship between Har-Tru and the USPTA is good for both sides.

“These are hard-working, passionate individuals who are dedicated to the sport of tennis and to helping others learn and enjoy it. I am confident that our products can help them in that endeavor and I know in turn USPTA professionals will help us grow our business and improve our product offering,” Hanssen said.

The USPTA provides teacher certification and professional development to more than 150,000 members worldwide. The USPTA also offers more than 60 professional benefits for its members that range from retirement plans to health insurance assistance, according to the USPTA website.

In order to become a USPTA member, an application must be filled out and the steps vary depending on what type of member you will like to become. For more information, visit uspta.com.

USTA Southern Announces New Manager of Adult Tennis

The United States Tennis Association Southern announced Marita Edrosa as the USTA Southern Manager of Adult Tennis on April 17.

Edrosa served as the USTA Georgia Ranking and Rating Coordinator since 2013. During her time at the competition department, Edrosa coordinated and sanctioned all tournaments (adult and junior), published standings/rankings and organized tournament director workshops. She also administered NTRP promotions and assisted league players with their NTRP ratings in the adult department.

John Callen, USTA Southern executive director and COO, is excited about the experience that Edrosa brings to the position.

“Marita’s experience and range of roles at USTA Georgia has prepared her to make great contribution to our adult department and growth of USTA league participation,” Callen said.

A Guam native, Edrosa earned a degree in sociology from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in education from Antioch University Seattle. In 2007, she moved to Brunswick, Georgia, and was one of the founders of the Brunswick-Golden Isles Tennis Association. During her time at BGITA, she brought USTA league tennis to the Brunswick community

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